Summer went by at lightning speed. After the back-to-school rush inevitably comes holiday season, including Sweetest Day, Oktoberfest and even National Coffee Day. It seems impossible to remember it all. In the midst of the million and one things we have to do, it’s worth setting aside time to acknowledge Grandparents’ Day. This September 12th, here are a few ways to show some special recognition to the senior members of your immediate family.
The Gift of Time
Taking time to pay a visit to your grandparent or grandparents is always appreciated, but perhaps never more so than after the loneliness many people felt after last year. The pandemic was isolating enough, but especially for the older members of the community. Your grandparents probably crave your time and presence more than any gift you could give. If you are both comfortable with an in-person visit, be sure it’s quality time. Turn off the phone, set aside distractions and catch up one-on-one. I guarantee they will appreciate it. Even if you can’t visit in person, there are so many ways to make time: phone calls, video calls, or even just snail mail.
The Gift of Service
Do your grandparents need help with a project that may be a stretch for them? Why not offer to help them out? For me personally, it’s always tough to stay on top of selling or parting with items I no longer need. Many of us had time to go through many of these items last year, but your grandparents may not have combed through items that need to be disposed of (i.e. old paint cans, old electronics that need recycling, etc). Definitely ask ahead of time if this kind of help is needed, so there’s no implication of getting rid of ‘junk’ that they may be personally attached to. Or, another alternative is to offer to help with a project around the house that may have been neglected or they just haven’t gotten around to.
The Gift of Heritage
Many families have a particular dish they love to make. Cook with your grandparents! If you don’t already have those family recipes, now is a great time to offer to cook together and learn. If your grandparents haven’t been out for a meal in a while and feel comfortable, going out for brunch or an early dinner is a fun way to spend time together as well. While we’re on the subject of heritage, ask your grandparents about their past. Listening to stories from your grandparents can be interesting and downright entertaining. Going through old photos and videos can help spark conversation.
Whatever you choose to do this Grandparents’ Day, have fun making memories and celebrating the special bond we have with our grandparents!